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Re: How to write reports and books in Mathematica

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  • Subject: [mg109718] Re: How to write reports and books in Mathematica
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Thu, 13 May 2010 07:25:21 -0400 (EDT)

Unless you don't know LaTeX, or do know it but don't regard it as a 
"word processing system", then surely you're joking about Mathematica 
being "far superior to any other word processing system."

Mathematica cannot touch LaTeX in typesetting documents to publication 
standards with technical content. To mention just a few LaTeX strengths: 
correct sizes of large delimiters and math operators; correct 
discrimination in typesetting in-line mathematics vs. display 
mathematics (e.g., with respect to positioning of subscripts and 
superscripts for integral signs and summation signs); flexibility in 
formatting tables and matrices; easy internal labeling and references to 
theorems, figures, etc.; easy handling and flexible formatting of 
bibliographies and references to them; smart splitting of text into 
justified lines (if you want justification) and smart division of the 
document into pages; easy handling of multiple languages within a single 
document (if that's relevant).

What's more, LaTeX allows its user to focus primarily upon the content 
and organizational structure of the document, not upon the appearance of 
the document.

The price is no ability to evaluate mathematical expressions directly 
within the document, or to provide a "live" document to the reader.

Of course LaTeX is a mark-up language, not a WYSIWIG "word processor". 
And I have to admit that for a quick job, it's often easier for me to 
use Mathematica to knock off a document. But very, very seldom are the 
results anywhere near as good-looking -- and correctly typeset by 
recognized standards -- as what, with a big more investment of time, I 
can accomplish with LaTeX.

On 5/12/2010 7:31 AM, Kevin J. McCann wrote:
> ...I use Mathematica for ALL my class notes (physics grad and undergrad), and I
> find that the typesetting, particularly equations, is far superior to
> any other word processing system....

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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